Should I follow Intermittent Fasting?
By PW Nutritionist Grace Scott
“I do the 5:2 diet.”
“I time restrict my eating.”
“I fast alternate days.”
Whichever name you want to call it, essentially all fall under the category of intermittent fasting (IF). Intermittent fasting is defined as abstaining from food for a period of time, it’s used as a popular tool to help with losing weight with the primary focus on not WHAT you eat but WHEN. Be this fasting for 16 hours a day and eating within an 8 hour time frame (16:8), eating regularly on 5 days of the week but only consuming 500-600 calories on the other 2 days (5:2) or fasting for 2x 24 hour periods a week, ALL are forms of intermittent fasting, just dressed up differently.
If weight loss is your goal intermittent fasting can be a powerful tool to employ. Research suggests that intermittent fasting benefits include an average weight loss of 0.5lbs a week by just changing up your eating routine. This would amount to almost 2 stone over a period of a year! Although many of us want to lose weight as fast as possible, this isn't attainable and my advice to you would be to not jump in the deep end and fast for 24 hours twice a week straight away! This is difficult in itself and hard to sustain as no one enjoys feeling hungry! Many start with the 16:8 method as it’s the most easy and requires the least amount of change and then progress onto 24hour fasts if they feel the benefits outweigh the cons.
Other intermittent fasting benefits stems early research showing that fasting can help with weight loss, brain function, improved heart health and reduced risks of type 2 diabetes due to a reduction in insulin resistance and a change in your hormones during the fasting period.
Of course, all of this is irrelevant if you fast for 16 hours and then when you eat again you binge on thousands of calories, as the crux of weight loss still does centre around a calorie deficit. It’s important to refuel with nutrient dense foods but not calorie dense foods, eg your Mcdonalds or KFC which can be packed full of calories but lack in nutrients. Kick your refuel off with a PW Slender Blend – packed full of 26 vitamins & minerals to help you hit your daily recommendations, high protein for satiety and added digestive enzymes to keep your gut healthy, it’s the perfect intermittent fasting protein shake to have as a refeed snack.
*Can I drink?
Yes absolutely! It’s important to stay hydrated when you’re fasting, tea and coffee are also fine but try to avoid sugar and limit milks. Our Slender Tea is the perfect morning green tea during a fast!
*Can I exercise?
Fasted exercise is a common for many people, so the answer is yes! It’s important to remember that your energy and strength levels may be lower if you are fasted despite the intermittent fasting benefits. Some people like to take iBCAA’s beforehand which is allowed on IF. Refuelling afterwards is super important, so don’t forget your intermittent fasting protein shake to finish your exercise and fast with!
*How often can I follow 16:8?
As often as you like! Some start with once or twice a week and others prefer to follow this everyday as their normal eating routine. It’s all about finding out what works for YOU.
If you are unsure whether or not intermittent fasting is for you or not please get in touch, our nutritionists will be happy to help firstname.lastname@example.org